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e-Li: Electronic Library

Financial Management under the General Law

The day-to-day expenses relating to personnel, supplies, materials, utilities, contracted services, upkeep of facilities and other such costs are referred to as current operating expenses.  To finance these functions the county levies and collects taxes and receives revenues from the state and federal governments.  The county’s financial management of these costs and revenues involves budgeting, accounting, purchasing, payroll, cash flow and related areas.  Unless a county has elected to operate under a local option law or has adopted a private act, the county must manage its finances in accordance with the general law. General laws provide guidance in the areas of budgeting, accounting, purchasing, and investment of temporarily idle county cash funds.

The laws regarding purchasing for county governments are not uniform. There are state laws of general application, as well as local option laws that may apply.  Also, private acts govern purchasing in some counties. County purchasing laws and procedures are covered under the Purchasing topic.